Give the president a hand.
Now he's pressing to make it easier to do that to more kids. As long as they're enemies of our increasingly failing, flailing state.
I. Cluster bombs have long been one of the most important components of of the American terror arsenal. They have been outlawed by 111 countries. The main opponent of that global policy is the United States. I hoped that would end when Obama was elected.
Boy, was I stupid.
Not only did he get this kid all but whacked, he's killed hundreds of other little boys and girls a lot like him, and his people try to lie to cover it up. The cluster bomb attack:
Amnesty International has released images of a US-manufactured cruise missile that carried cluster munitions, apparently taken following an attack on an alleged al-Qa’ida training camp in Yemen that killed 41 local residents, including 14 women and 21 children.Further description of Obama's weapon of choice on Yemeni, Iraqi, Somali and Afghan kids:
The 17 December 2009 attack on the community of al-Ma'jalah in the Abyan area in the south of Yemen killed 55 people including 14 alleged members of al-Qa’ida.
“A military strike of this kind against alleged militants without an attempt to detain them is at the very least unlawful. The fact that so many of the victims were actually women and children indicates that the attack was in fact grossly irresponsible, particularly given the likely use of cluster munitions,” said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.
Shortly after the attack some US media reported alleged statements by unnamed US government sources who said that US cruise missiles launched on presidential orders had been fired at two alleged al-Qa'ida sites in Yemen.The initial Obama response:
“Based on the evidence provided by these photographs, the US government must disclose what role it played in the al-Ma'jalah attack, and all governments involved must show what steps they took to prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries,” said Philip Luther.
The photographs enable the positive identification of damaged missile parts, which appear to be from the payload, mid-body, aft-body and propulsion sections of a BGM-109D Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile.
This type of missile, launched from a warship or submarine, is designed to carry a payload of 166 cluster submunitions (bomblets) which each explode into over 200 sharp steel fragments that can cause injuries up to 150m away. An incendiary material inside the bomblet also spreads fragments of burning zirconium designed to set fire to nearby flammable objects.
Amnesty International has requested information from the Pentagon about the involvement of US forces in the al-Ma'jalah attack, and what precautions may have been taken to minimize deaths and injuries, but has yet to receive a response.The expanded, current Obama response - he wants to kill more and more kids in these never-ending wars:
Britain is backing a US-led plan to torpedo the global ban on cluster bombs, in what MPs and arms campaigners fear is an attempt to legitimise the use of weapons that are widely deemed to be inherently indiscriminate.II. My first experience with people exposed to U.S. terror policies involving cluster bombs was over 38 years ago, in early 1973.
In recent years, the UK has played a leading role in trying to rid the world of cluster bombs. It is one of 111 countries that have signed up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, is on target to destroy its own stockpile, and has ordered the US military to remove any submunitions it holds on British soil.
But The Independent has learnt that the UK Government is supporting a Washington-led proposal that would permit the use of cluster bombs as long as they were manufactured after 1980 and had a failure rate of less than one per cent. Arms campaigners say the 1980 cut-off point is arbitrary, and that many modern cluster bombs have far higher failure rates on the field of battle than manufacturers claim.
The international community is gathering in Geneva next week to discuss the proposal, which will be tabled as a new protocol for the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons – a UN treaty from the early 1980s that forbids the use of "excessively injurious" weapons such as mines, booby traps, incendiary devices and blinding lasers.
The world's major cluster bomb manufacturers – which include the US, Israel, Russia, China, South Korea, India and Pakistan – have all refused to sign up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. They plan to push through a less restrictive treaty in Geneva next week.
Arms campaigners say the draft proposal would effectively legalise almost all cluster bombs and be a nail in the coffin of the hard-won cluster bomb ban, which is all but two years old. Austria, Norway and Mexico are leading opposition to the American-led proposal.
I was music director of a Seattle radio station - KRAB FM. I was in Vancouver, BC, hoping to get an interview with a Chinese musician, as part of my efforts to put a human face on Chinese artists at the time the U.S. was beginning to show some sanity in our relationship with China. Two of my station colleagues, Roy Harvey and Karen Engstrom, were also in Vancouver, interviewing Scandinavian doctors and nurses who were passing through Vancouver on their way back from Hanoi-Haiphong, to their homes. These medical practitioners had just witnessed our first massive cluster bomb campaign, an important, but yet largely unrecognized aspect of Operation Linebacker II, sometimes called Nixon's Christmas.
I sat in on two of their interviews. It was unnerving. What was being described was an intentional campaign to destroy innocent North Vietnamese civilian infrastructure, bodies, souls and hopes. The weapons, cluster bombs, were insidious in the way they enhanced Linebacker II's goals.
The bombs' bomblets were, according to the Swedes, Finns and Latvians we listened to, clad in magnesium. Inside were fiberglass balls and shards, white phosphorus and propellant explosive. In use in the campaign, they penetrated human flesh in seemingly innocuous and medically operative ways. But the X-ray machines could not detect the fiberglass balls and shards. They were causing hemorrhage.
When doctors attempted to find what was causing the hemorrhage, they had to excavate into wounds to the point that victim after victim simply bled to death during the fruitless searches.
The doctors and nurses said that the injuries so overwhelmed the Hanoi-Haiphong medical infrastructure that they begged the country's leadership to "return to the negotiating table" with the U.S. regarding the stalled peace negotiations. According to them, it worked.
Although I had experienced hatred directed to me as an American before these interviews, it was my first experience like that from people with whom I had thought there would always be rapport. They could not hide their hatred for me. I was ashamed.
Needless to say, National Public Radio, with which we had recently begun to affiliate at KRAB, did not want to touch Harvey and Engstrom's report with a ten-foot pole. Pacifica only aired a very sanitized version of their efforts.
While driving back to Seattle from Vancouver, we were listening on the radio to Dmitri Shostakovich's great 8th string quartet on the radio. I finally understood the work. He had written it in Dresden in 1960, after seeing first-hand the remaining destruction from the U.S.-U.K. firebombing of that city in February, 1945.
The horror Shostakovich had felt finally struck home. I cried openly, in front of my friends, who were also so shaken by our introduction to how people feel about U.S. use of cluster bombs on innocent civilians: